Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Title

King of the Hill's Souphanousiphones, the New Model Minority, and the Subversive Model Minority

Author

Robert Reece

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Sociology

First Advisor

Zandria Robinson

Second Advisor

Kirk Johnson

Third Advisor

Jeffery Jackson

Abstract

Though the term "model minority" was only coined in the 1960s to apply to Asian-Americans, in the white imagination, a "model" way to be a minority has always existed. This model has gone through various iterations from the "happy" blacks of the antebellum years to supposedly over-achieving Asian-Americans of the 1960s. I argue that we are witnessing the emergence of a new model minority that includes not only Asian-Americans but other high-achieving minorities as well. This model minority is characterized by economic success, formal education, American values, and conservative racial politics or a complete silence about race. Because an inability to speak up about racial injustice is a dangerous prerequisite for success, I seek to explore ways to subvert this crucial characteristic of the model minority. I use King of the Hill's Souphanousiphones to demonstrate this "subversive model minority" and its consequences.

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